Asking security personnel to exercise control and discipline while using social media, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the police force should use the medium to its advantage and connect with people.
He also underscored the importance for police to reduce the trust deficit with local communities.
Inaugurating the National Community Policing Conclave-2016 at nearby Kovalam, Singh said it was imperative for police to use the full power of social media to its advantage. They should use it as an instrument to connect with people.
“Social media is a power to police. They should use it to communicate with people,” he said, adding that however, security personnel should use it with control and discipline.
“It is very important for the police to bridge the trust deficit that exists between the police and local communities. I always believe that the efficacy of any police force lies in its relationship and engagement with the local community,” he said.
The Home Minister said challenges before police were multifarious and changing due to increasing diversity and complexity of crimes on the one hand and rising public expectations on the other.
Besides the law and order issues, terrorism was also a cause of grave concern, the minister said
“Apart from global terrorism, the social changes brought about by the Internet and social media have posed huge policing challenges and have completely changed the way in which policing is done,” he said.
Singh said while on the one hand newer technologies have enabled law enforcement agencies handle new age crimes and criminals, on the other, it has “hugely empowered” the criminals as well.
“Today, anyone sitting anywhere in the world can commit a crime anywhere in the world with impunity and anonymity.So the question arises in the present day technology-driven world,
“While community policing should be the guiding principle of our police forces, I must say that building relationships should be our prime focus.”
“I am of the firm opinion that community policing should be institutionalised in our policing system.”
“A nationwide action plan for community policing and community contact needs to be formulated,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said Community Policy introduced in Kerala eight years ago had proved to be a great success.
“It received full support from the people’, he said.
The system had also helped reduce the gulf between police and people’, he claimed.